U.S. Navy bans alcohol in Japan after crime spree

The U.S. Navy imposed a total ban on alcohol consumption in Japan on Monday, June 6th, ordering all 18,000 American sailors confined to their bases for non-essential activities to thwart a string of crimes that has provoked outrage among Japanese.

When the USA Today’s Kirk Spitzer and Jim Michaels reported the breaking news, they turned to civilian military attorney, LtCol Gary S. Barthel USMC Retired (Ret.) for analysis.

The sweep of the no-drinking order appears unprecedented because it applies country-wide and restricts where sailors can go on- and off-base, said Gary Barthel, a retired Marine Corps attorney.

“I’ve never seen that done before,” he said. “I’ve seen where they put certain bars or certain establishments off-limits.”

Such a ban is difficult to enforce but can act as a deterrent. The Navy uses shore patrol personnel to keep an eye on off-duty sailors to ensure they are following orders. They can bring a sailor back to base to face discipline if found violating orders.

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